Dear Mr Kawabata
Author: Rashid Al-Daif
Translator: Paul Starkey
Publisher: Quartet Books (2000)
A stream of confession about a life and the history of Lebanon in which this life is lived. A great many things merge and melt into one another. There is the change of outlook of the village population on the world and the universe—is the earth flat or round as they say on television. There is the younger generation looking towards Beirut. There is the feeling of growing up in a time torn between great expectations and mounting political tensions. There is the struggle, within the central character, between philosophy of a neatly classifiable world and society and the palpable reality of a dirty war that leads in the end to the pseudo-death of the narrator. There are reflections on the daily language and the ideology attached to it. There are recollections, both bitter and sweet, harsh and tender, about Beirut and Lebanon as it was and as it could have been.